Juan Manuel Santos sworn in as Colombia's new president

10:08, August 08, 2010      

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Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos speaks after being sworn-in during his inauguration ceremony in Bogota, Colombia, Aug. 7, 2010. Santos takes office as Colombia's new president on Saturday afternoon, taking over the power from Alvaro Uribe. (Xinhua)


Juan Manuel Santos was sworn in as Colombia's new president on Saturday afternoon, taking over the power from Alvaro Uribe at a ceremony held on the Bolivar Square of the capital city Bogota.

The ceremony, which was attended by 16 heads of state and some 100 international delegations, began after more than 30 minutes of delay. It was the first time that an outgoing president attended the ceremony.

Santos was sworn in by the president of the Colombian Congress, Armando Benedetti. He pledged to fulfill the Colombian laws and Constitution.

In his inaugural speech, Santos said that he will launch a restless fight without truce against the illegal armed groups in the country.

However, he said that he will be open for a negotiation to definitely eradicate violence in Colombia.

"We will continue fighting all the illegal organizations, without truce ... We will not rest till the state of law is present in all and each one of the towns of our homeland," Santos said.

Before the official ceremony, Santos attended on Saturday morning a symbolic ceremony with the spiritual authorities of four ethnic groups of Colombia in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in the north of the country.

Santos said in the inaugural speech that during the ceremony, the natives gave him a collar with four stones, "representing the soil, which must be taken care of; the water, which is the source of life; and the stone of the good government."

"These symbols will be an integral part of my administration. Today I reaffirm that my government will be of national unity, seeking social prosperity for all the Colombian people," vowed Santos.

Some 160,000 police officers and 22,000 army troops were deployed for the ceremony.

Source: Xinhua

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